Navigation Links
New microscopic life aboard the RMS Titanic
Date:12/6/2010

A brand-new bacterial species has been found aboard the RMS Titanic, which is contributing to its deterioration. The discovery reveals a potential new microbial threat to the exterior of ships and underwater metal structures such as oil rigs.

The researchers, who report their findings in the latest issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology published on 8 December, isolated the micro-organisms from a 'rusticle', collected from the RMS Titanic, 3.8 km below the ocean surface.

The novel bacterium has been named Halomonas titanicae by the scientists from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada and the University of Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain. The team also tested the rusting ability of the bacterium - and found that it was able to adhere to steel surfaces, creating knob-like mounds of corrosion products, which they will be reporting in an upcoming paper.

A similar bacterial corrosive process is thought to be responsible for the formation of the rusticles which resemble rusty icicles that adorn the hull of the RMS Titanic. While these appear to be solid structures, rusticles are highly porous and support a complex variety of bacteria, suggesting that H. titanicae may work in conjunction with other organisms to speed up the corrosion of the metal.

The RMS Titanic was made up of 50,000 tons of iron and has been progressively deteriorating for the past 98 years. Lead researchers Dr Bhavleen Kaur and Dr Henrietta Mann, from Dalhousie University explained that the role of microbes in this process is now starting to be understood. "We believe H. titanicae plays a part in the recycling of iron structures at certain depths. This could be useful in the disposal of old naval and merchant ships and oil rigs that have been cleaned of toxins and oil-based products and then sunk in the deep ocean."

Dr Kaur and Dr Mann believe that the findings have opened up further areas of research that could have applications for industry. "We don't know yet whether this species arrived aboard the RMS Titanic before or after it sank. We also don't know if these bacteria cause similar damage to offshore oil and gas pipelines," they said. "Finding answers to these questions will not only better our understanding of our oceans, but may also equip us to devise coatings that can prevent similar deterioration to other metal structures."


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Udakis
l.udakis@sgm.ac.uk
44-118-988-1843
Society for General Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Microscopic morphology adds to the scorpion family tree
2. Mighty diatoms: Global climate feedback from microscopic algae
3. Michigan State University study sheds light on microscopic flower petal ridges
4. Wine vine: Microscopic photography reveals bacteria destroying grape plant cell wall
5. New technology enables machines to detect microscopic pathogens in water
6. New study documents use of hormone progesterone in simple microscopic aquatic animals
7. UW-built device reveals invisible world teeming with microscopic algae
8. Microscopic solutions to worlds biggest problems
9. Medical imaging breakthrough uses light and sound to see microscopic details inside our bodies
10. Rensselaer researchers to send bacteria into orbit aboard space shuttle Atlantis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New microscopic life aboard the RMS Titanic
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is ... tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and global ... June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase the ... in various industries. France ... international market, with a 30 percent increase in the number ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical ... GE, have established a partnership to build an ... the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... 19, 2017 The global military ... is marked by the presence of several large global ... by five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, ... for nearly 61% of the global military biometric market ... the global military biometrics market boast global presence, which ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... , ... August 16, 2017 , ... While art and ... much more closely connected than one might think. A Mesh Is Also a ... at the University City Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery (EKG) on August 17 and ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... BOSTON and OXFORD, England , ... -based consortium for biotech executive search and leadership development, ... and Healthcare sectors, have created an exclusive alliance that enables ... "For our clients here ... collaboration provides unparalleled access to a diverse population of leadership ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 ... ... JASIS, one of the largest Asian exhibitions for analytical and scientific instruments. This ... Pittsburgh), will be “New Approaches in Mass Spectrometry for Bioanalytical Applications.” This dynamic ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... is threatened by various biotic and abiotic factors. During this educational webinar, participants ... of coffee, as well as gain a better understanding of how genomics is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: